Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chocolate Orange Marshmallows

Back in February I had written a segment on marshmallows and posted the recipe I used by Alton Brown. The recipe was super easy and the marshmallows turned out amazing. The exciting thing about recipes is they can often be added to and changed to your own personal liking. Over Easter weekend I used the recipe again, but this time I decided to flavor them and make my own gourmet version - if you will. The result was a tasty updated alternative to the basic marshmallow. The other great thing is the possibilities are truly endless.

Here is the recipe again with my variation as well as one for peppermint marshmallows, or you can add any other flavors you can think of.

To make Chocolate Orange Marshmallows:
In place of the vanilla add 2 1/2 tsp orange extract in the last minute of mixing along with 6 drops each of red and yellow food coloring (if desired). Once the marshmallows are set, cut and coat them with the sugar mixture as directed below. Lay the marshmallows flat on a baking sheet. Then take 1 cup milk chocolate chips (or dark if you prefer) and melt in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals - stirring between each - until melted. Drizzle chocolate over marshmallows and let sit for about 2 hours or until chocolate is dry.

For Peppermint Marshmallows - in place of the vanilla add 2 tsp peppermint extract and 6-10 drops of red food coloring (if desired). Instead of the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture, coat the marshmallows with granulated or caster sugar (caster sugar is a finer granule of sugar often used for easier dissolving in baking).

Homemade Marshmallows
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007.
Prep Time: 35 min
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hr 0 min
Cook Time:10 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves:approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature

• 3 packages unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup ice cold water, divided
• 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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